How to Become a Tattoo Artist

Written by ehow careers & work editor
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Tattoo artists seem to have a lot of fun at their jobs. They create beautiful and intricate artwork on the skin of their clients. You can express your creativity as a tattoo artist as well as make a lot of money. If you have artistic talent, then this may be the right career for you.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Consider your skill level. If you wish to become a tattoo artist, then obviously you're going to have to know how to draw. Taking art classes at a local college can help you develop your talent.

  2. 2

    Put together a portfolio of your drawings. Tattoo artists must build a portfolio, much like regular artists. Put your best pieces and designs into your portfolio.

  3. 3

    Train under an experienced tattoo artist. Check with local shops about working with the current staff to gain experience. See if they will offer a paying position, otherwise you may have to get hired as an unpaid apprentice.

  4. 4

    Learn everything that you need to know about tattoo application. This includes instruction on how to use the equipment, sterilization requirements and the correct way to give a tattoo.

  5. 5

    Apply at a shop that is hiring artists. After you have completed your training, you'll be ready to apply for a paid position or perhaps open your own shop.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need several years of experience working with a tattoo artist before you are ready to begin applying tattoos on your own. Tattoos are permanent markings and need to be expertly applied.
  • The average training period for a tattoo artist who is completing an apprenticeship is two to three years.

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